Lincoln Chooses War

I just read your piece “Lincoln Chooses War, 1861” [ Hard Choices, May 2013 ACG], and it puts events into a different light. I had always thought the events leading up to the Confederacy were a train wreck in the making no matter what was done by whomever; that Southern leaders were hellbent on leaving, and nothing could dissuade them. Thank you for the new perspective.



“Robbie” Robinson Tribute

Editor: Thanks to both you and Colonel (Ret.) Douglas Nash for publishing the tribute to Lieutenant John “Robbie” Robinson [Dispatches, July 2013 ACG]. I know that it created quit a “stir” in the Robinson family and our family, and for that matter, in the History Department at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas – I bought a two-year ACG subscription for one of the history department teachers. I have a question about back copies: If a teacher wanted to purchase back copies that cover the period of publication since the magazine’s inception up to the time of subscription, would that be possible and what would it cost?



Some back issues of Armchair General are completely sold out, but those still available may be purchased at chair-general-store for $9.95 each, which includes postage. Select older back issues are available for $5.95.

Fort Necessity

I went to western Pennsylvania this weekend. While there, I visited the Fort Necessity National Battlefield site, where young George Washington fought the first engagement of the 1754-63 French and Indian Wars. Here is a picture of me holding a copy of the March 2013 issue of Armchair General while standing next to a Virginia militia re-enactor at the fort.



The Fort Necessity National Battlefield website ( describes that May 28, 1754, engagement as “the opening battle of a world war” – the global Seven Years’ War, known as the French and Indian War in the North American theater. Washington wrote of his experience of combat that day: “I heard the bullets whistle, and, believe me there is something charming to the sound.”

Book Presentation

Author Jay Wertz (right) recently passed along this photo of him and Eric Weider, Armchair General founder/publisher and Weider History Group (WHG) president and CEO, as he presents to Eric a copy of War Stories: The Pacific, Volume 2 – The Solomons to Saipan. The book is Wertz’s third in the award-winning, multi-volume War Stories series published by WHG. Each volume features his superb narrative describing the land, sea and air campaigns of World War II. The compelling accounts are brought to vivid life through the words of veterans on both sides of the battle line. The books are available for purchase at

Japan Invasion Nightmare

D.M. Giangreco’s article on what American invaders would have faced if the United States had been forced to invade Japan to end World War II in the Pacific indeed presents a horrific, nightmare scenario [Special Feature, July 2013 ACG]. It deserves a prominent place in the atomic bomb debate literature because it goes far beyond the typical “he saidshe said” argument over the planned invasion’s casualty figures. No one who reads Giangreco’s article can sensibly claim that an invasion of Japan would have produced fewer casualties – American and Japanese – than the two atomic bombs inflicted. The author deserves high praise for the article and Armchair General merits kudos for publishing it.



Giangreco’s writings are must-reads for anyone seeking to understand the end of World War II in the Pacific. These include his superb book Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-47 (Naval Institute Press, 2009), and his quartet of ACG articles: “Truman’s Nightmare: U.S. Invasion of Japan, 1945-46” (July 2013); “Ending World War II” (September 2010); “Eisenhower, Berlin … and the Pacific” (November 2012); and “Japan’s ‘Stealth’ Kamikazes” (March 2013).


Originally published in the November 2013 issue of Armchair General.